Its the end of the year. One whole year has gone by. Hot Dog.
So of course, I am bound to do a year in review. Gee, where to begin.
Every year I say I learned so much, that I begin to wonder if I learned anything in the previous year by comparison. It just keeps growing year after year, and I keep learning, so I am beginning to wonder if either there is so much more to learn than I ever dreamed possible, or if I am so stupid that I hardly ever learned anything in the years previous.
Let's hope it's option A....
So, the year. It's fun to look back through the posts I put up through the year, seeing my thoughts play out as events happened to spark ideas for blog posts.
This year had a milestone moment for me, that changed my life radically, and I will never be the same. I hope you all have seen the change, but I'll get to that in a minute. :)
Nothing much interesting happened in January. I did three posts, one about changing the world with the small things in life, one about how Christians are losing their salt and light, and a video from Fox News about gun control. Nothing too exciting.
In February was our annual Men and Boys Campout, and I got this stunning shot on a hike we went on as the sun was going down.
In February I also got my compound bow, and have been avidly archer-ing away ever since. I did a couple movie reviews, a video post, and officially hit my 100 post mark. Nice little stepping stone.
In March, things kicked off with our annual Men's Prayer advance, where I shot my first Rattlesnake, and my good friend nearly got lost in the desert. My friend survived the experience. The Rattlesnake - not so much.
|Noah shot one, mine is the one on bottom|
Right after, all the guys in my family and an entire other family went to a handgun training course outside of Las Vegas. Two days of bang and bullets, complete with firing my first full-auto UZI. Talk about fun.
The only thing I blogged about was a post about the two trips. But it was in between those two trips, the change of a lifetime began.
I didn't realize it until later in the year, but it started here, and I will get to that in a minute. : )
In April, nothing of note happened, except that I wrote a post about what I like about girls. That post has hit the mark of 248 views, 5 +'s and 28 comments - so far my most popular and often viewed post. It happens to be one of my favorite posts, so I am glad everybody took to it so well. : D
In May, things came to a head in my spiritual life, and I made a turn around a spiritual corner that has left me changed forever.
I found me.
Up until this year, I had no idea who I was - who the real me really was, way deep down where nobody saw. I knew what I wanted to be, I knew what I wasn't, but I didn't know what I was. And that journey, that realization, that God led me down quietly and slowly so as not to overwhelm me in one fell blow, changed me forever.
I did a post on the real me, which was a huge milestone for my spiritual walk, but the best part was what was happening in my heart. I was changing, realizing my real weakness, learning to be content with who I was, not trying to change myself to who I wanted to be, and the best part, since I learned how sensitive I was, I learned (more like, still learning) how to be sensitive, kind, and loving to others - because I knew what it felt like to be on the other end of insensitivity, unkindness, and unlovingness (is that a word?.....)
I hope you have seen a change in me since then, because that section of time in my life, literally, was the most important so far. Everything in my life led to that point, and wow, Thank God he showed it to me.
Whoops, that went a bit long. Moving on....
I also had my senior Photo Shoot, and did random crazy things like AZ surfing as the temperature climbed far to high for my comfort.
|Three surfers with their horses that they trained|
|Class of 2013|
In June, I actually graduated, which was - to put it mildly - nice. 15 years of schooling under my belt, a gun on my hip, and ready to take on the great big world - or so it felt at the time. : )
But I also did another momentous post, on not only who I was, but how I got to who I was, through my past, my hurt, my pain, and my life - all shaping me to who I am today. After I figured out who I was, it was only a matter of connecting the dots to my life to figure out how I got there.
Let me tell you, in all honesty and seriousness - if you have never been at that point where you ground yourself to reality - find out who you really are and why you really are, you are probably adrift in the world and in your heart. I know I was, and that is a miserable and lonely place to be. That time in my life, all heading in that post, was, without a doubt besides my actual conversion, the most important time in my life.
Those two posts, the ones about me and how I got there, are my favorite posts. : ) Where I open wide to all the world who I am, and pray for mercy from God to accept that and go on with being more like his Son.
Golly, I tend to get long winded. Sorry, moving on.
In July, I turned 20 (woo!) and played in the water some more. I hurt my ankle the week before my birthday, so I spent my birthday at an indoor shooting range and doing a LOTR and Hobbit Marathon. Wow, what a day.
I did a few posts about growing up, a video of us surfing, and a post on funny videos. Just went and watched Swedish Chef again - gee that guy is funny.
August rolled around - wow, the year is going quickly isn't it? - We had my graduation party with some of the men from church, where they all got together and gave me a challenge, basically to go out there and take over the world for God - awesome stuff. If I could hear that every day of my life, I probably would be a different man.
We also had my Birthday/Graduation party up north in the mountains for two days, with my new canoe I bought and fixed up, playing on the lake, and catching crawdads in the creek.
|Me at the end of my grad party|
|Breaking in my new 20 foot canoe I fixed up - and it floated!|
|Yes, he is hunting crawdads with a bow|
I did a few random blog posts, one of which was still sparking political arguments recently.
September rolled in with a swing, and brought loads of action and excitement.
My mom went on a road trip with our other family for a horse show for a week, so all the guys from both families were at home taking care of enough animals to open a small zoo. Fun stuff.
Right afterwards was Noah's Birthday, where I took Noah canoeing, then we went out in the desert with our other family, and blew up a dryer, shot guns, and lit off fireworks.
|Me looking more than pleased, the smoke from what was left of a dryer floating away in the background. 3 pounds of Tannerite + dryer = BIG BOOM.|
|Sat back and had our own personal firework show. Pretty isn't it?|
Right afterwards was our annual church Family camp, where I set my personal record on number of fish caught in one day, number of fish caught in the two day trip, and my biggest bass yet. Whopping weekend, where I also hurt my leg in a church game that nearly lamed me for over a month. I spent most of one afternoon limping around the lake catching fish like crazy. I have a knack of hurting myself at the wrong time.....
|Big bubba - or whatever the fish equivalent is|
I also finally finished a knife I had been making for the longest time. I took an old Horse rasp, and ground it down into a formidable hunting knife. I could chop through a tree with this thing, and I think it would still be sharp. It's a bit of a brick, but I would have no hesitation putting it through anything the wild throws at me. All the long hours of work were totally worth it.
|A knife among knives|
I also decided in September that, someday, I would do an outdoor adventure business - Man Up Adventures. Hope to pull that off someday.
October came in much looked for, and with it my first Elk season, where I spent a week watching more 4-wheelers and trucks than elk, got a shot at one but didn't bring it in, then nearly hit a big bull in the road on our way home.
I did a few posts about the hunt itself, but besides that the only other thing I did was start having a friend build me a website for my art (COMING SOON!)
November snuck in before I knew what was happening, and brought with it a fun post about makeup, and couple of other ones in light of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving was had at our other families house, with fun, food, and bows - redneck thanksgiving all the way, and I think I can safely say, the best Thanksgiving I have had yet.
|I think this is my favorite shot of the year, with my favorite people anywhere|
December came way to quickly, bringing with it a deer hunt - my first archery hunt for that matter, with a post on what I learned on the hunt.
Me and my family saw Thor 2, The Hobbit 2, I argued with HTML for an evening and produced my first blogger button, and....well....
That would bring me to right now!
Whew! What a year. My years keep getting better - Next year should be whopping. : )
But honestly, I really do want to know - what change have you all seen in me this past year? It was pretty momentous for me, so I would love y'alls outside opinion - and tips for improving! As honest and blatant as you can manage - without getting nasty. : D
All in all, the best year I have had yet. Learning so much more than I ever thought possible, growing in more ways than I ever thought possible (thank God not my waistline.....) with loads of awesome hunting, fishing, hiking, swimming, canoeing, talking, praying, and other stories ram-packed in around them.
Thank God for a good year - here's to more.